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Fla. troopers catch Smithfield man wanted for shooting wife

Posted July 12, 2008

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— A Smithfield man was arrested in Florida less than a day after sheriff's deputies believe he shot his wife in Johnston County.

Florida state troopers picked up Julian Blankinship III, 44, during a routine traffic stop, according to Tammy Amaon, a spokeswoman for the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.

Troopers ran his tags, discovered that he was wanted in North Carolina and arrested him.

Authorities could not immediately say where Blankinship was being held in Florida or when he would be extradited to North Carolina.

The Johnston County Sheriff's Office plans to charge Blankinship with assault with a deadly weapon and inflicting serious injury with intent to kill, Sheriff Steve Bizzell said.

Blankinship's wife, whose name was not released, was in serious but stable condition at WakeMed on Saturday afternoon. She was shot in the leg and the mouth.

Investigators say Blankinship shot his wife in the 1500 block of Galilee Road around 5 p.m. Friday. He was seen driving away in a small, white Ford Ranger truck.

Bizzell said Blankinship is a martial arts expert who occasionally trained law enforcement in the past.


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